Sales of vegan products in Germany were up 37% in the first quarter, with specific demand for plant-based meat and dairy products. The German Federal Statistical Office (FSO) released this data last week. It also found that animal welfare, hygiene and working conditions for employees were the most important motivational factors for changing consumer habits. Last year, 14.7 tons were sold in the same period. Overall, plant-based meat products were produced with a value of € 272.8 million in 2019.
The FSO specifically highlighted the growing popularity of plant-based products, including dairy-free spreads, tofu and vegan meats. According to Mintel data, one in ten newly produced products in Germany is vegan. Companies such as LikeMeat, Rügenwalder Mühle and Nestlé’s Garden Gourmet all produce popular plant-based meat products.
Ronja Berthold, head of public affairs at the European Vegetarion Union (EVU), told LIVEKINDLY that increasing demand in Germany reflects the general growing awareness of the impact of the meat sector. She also noted that the pandemic has generated even more attention for global animal husbandry. « COVID has exposed the problematic aspects of animal husbandry, » said Berthold. « And the virus has also affected production itself. That is why people are more actively looking for alternatives. The sector will continue to grow, despite or partly thanks to the crisis. »
Animal husbandry and the pandemic
Meat processing plants are environments with a high risk of the spread of viruses. In June, more than 1,500 employees were tested positive for COVID-19 in Germany’s largest meat processing company. Similar outbreaks followed in the UK and US. As this led to staff shortages in the meat sector, some consumers switched to alternative sources of protein.
Although recent data on plant product sales show an increase, the meat sector is still dominant. Germany produced meat products worth approximately € 40 billion in 2019. Berthold, however, is convinced that the market will continue to grow with government support. « There is still a long way to go before the demand for vegan alternatives exceeds that for animal meat, but the industry continues to grow. Hopefully there will be more and better alternatives in the future. »
Bron: Live Kindly